ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball producer Jeff Dufine and his team have been on an Opening Day journey that began on Friday, April 1. The crew has had to make many adjustments on the fly with winter weather impacting the northeast. As the Yankee Stadium staff removed the ice from the field yesterday morning for New York’s delayed home-opener on ESPN, Dufine spoke with Front Row about his team’s trip from Pittsburgh to New York to Cincinnati.
Describe the team’s travel schedule since Friday.
The Wednesday Night Baseball talent, production and most of the technical crew arrived on Friday for Opening Day in Pittsburgh to prepare for the first game of the year at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Our plan was to go to the airport and catch a flight to LaGuardia and be ready to go for Monday at 1 p.m. On the way to the airport, our flight kept getting pushed back. We decided it would be better to drive [the 370 miles] to New York because there were a lot of flights getting cancelled and we had to be there ready to go Monday morning. After the six-hour drive, we got in around midnight and were at Yankee Stadium around 6:30 a.m. Monday morning.
What were some of the major logistical challenges?
After the game Monday at Yankee Stadium was postponed, we had to organize a lot of our crew to make sure that they could stay and do the game on Tuesday. We ended up having to replace about eight or nine people who had conflicts. The crewing department got involved to get some new people. Our entire production crew ended up staying, which was great. The majority of the crew took 9:30 p.m. flights out of LaGuardia Tuesday night to do the Phillies/Reds game on Wednesday.
Describe the commitment of the crew to be able to make these adjustments on the fly.
The production crew and the technical crew are the best in baseball. It’s a pretty tight-knit group. We all enjoy working with each other. We all knew what we were getting into with three games in three cities over the course of four days. The weather, postponement and changing of plans makes everyone come together to put the best product on the air.
— Doug Glanville (@dougglanville) April 4, 2016